Heather Stewart snorkels in the mangroves. CONTRIBUTED

Join the History of Diving Museum on Wednesday, Jan. at 7 p.m. for Immerse Yourself lecture series featuring mangrove biology, which will be presented virtually by mangrove ecologist Heather Stewart.

The museum will be hosting the broadcast on-site with limited seating in the Bauer Diving History Research Library, as well as through a private Zoom meeting link. As a benefit to the community, the museum also has extended hours on Immerse Yourself nights. Come early to celebrate the opening of our Dive into Art: Edge of the Sea exhibit.

Stewart is a mangrove ecologist with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. She specializes in coexisting mangrove-coral habitats, mangrove island biodiversity and mangrove conservation. Stewart has worked in mangrove ecosystems across the Caribbean and Latin America. With nearly half of the world’s population living within 90 miles of the coast, unprecedented environmental pressures for land and resources pose great challenges to marine conservation.

Management of these coastal habitats must consider interactions between terrestrial and marine habitats, as connecting habitats can buffer one another in the face of disturbance. In coexisting mangrove-coral (CMC) habitats, over 130 species of corals have been found to establish long- term and extensive communities. These CMC habitats have been observed in 12 locations worldwide, including the Florida Keys. Come learn about these incredible mangrove-coral relationships.

If you are interested in attending in-person, reserve your seat today by calling the museum at 305-664-9737 or emailing the community outreach team at [email protected] To register for the Zoom Meeting, visit DivingMuseum.org. For those unable to attend in-person or virtually, the session will be recorded and posted to the HDM YouTube channel. The History of Diving Museum would like to thank this month’s Immerse Yourself sponsor: the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.

The History of Diving Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Islamorada (MM83). Divers and non-divers alike are amazed by over 4,000 years of “the quest to explore under the sea.” The museum has 14 core exhibits plus two annual limited-time Featured Exhibits as well as a Museum Store with unique gifts. Check out DivingMuseum.org for more details, to become a member or shop online.